400 Million Cannot Speak Mandarin

China’s governing Communist Party has promoted Mandarin for decades to unite a nation with thousands of dialects and numerous minority languages, but that campaign has been hampered by resistance, the country’s size and lack of investment in...

Sinica Podcast


Shop Talk with Phonemica

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
Feeling crowded out by all the laowai speaking putonghua these days? Fortunately for the more adventurous among us, China has no shortage of other dialects, which is why we are delighted to host the creators of Phonemica, a crowd-sourced project to...

On Saving China's Dying Languages

Matt Schiavenza
For a country so thoroughly associated with its national language, referred to in the West as Mandarin, China is remarkably rich in linguistic diversity. Unfortunately, the country's rapid development - and government mandates to use Mandarin...

Phonemica: A Quest to Save China’s Languages

Wendy Qian
Phonemica, or xiangyinyuan, is an innovative project that documents China’s myriad dialects and languages, many of which are slowly disappearing due to state-sponsorship of Mandarin as the national language.